10th February 2011

The Krabbitworld Conundrum

Editor pre-amble: First, let me clarify that I was asked to review Krabbitworld: Origins last year, and as of yet haven’t done so. I have apologized in the past to its creators, and I will do so again now. I try to approach every game objectively and as though I have little to no gaming experience, except for franchises like Mass Effect or Assassin’s Creed, where I’ve played all of the titles. I have always openly stated that the PC is not my gaming platform of choice, I prefer console, and probably always will. I also try to find positive aspects in every product I look at; the Cavechild has no such compunction. He says what he thinks, and I guess, to an extent, that is also a commendable quality.

Krabbit OnlineMy initial experience with Krabbitworld: Origins was not a positive one, as I had problems with the game’s default command settings, and I honestly was not compelled to try the game again. I was not drawn in by the characters nor by the graphics. I’m not new to the RPG genre, I do play Guild Wars, but Krabbitworld just wasn’t doing it for me. Perhaps I didn’t give the game enough of a chance, I can consider that to be a possibility and easily admit that may be so. Perhaps I should have let the developers know at that time how I felt, and rightly so, but I kept hoping that I would get back to it, and it did cross my mind several times, and as my daughter so often points out, I have little concept of time, and all of a sudden it’s months later.

So why is the review being posted now, and why is the Cavechild doing it? Well, yesterday I posted a small rant on my personal Facebook page about Activision’s decision to shelve True Crime: Hong Kong, and basically stating that I will no longer be supporting the Call of Duty franchise with game purchases, and that no one here has ever liked any Halo title. (yes, I hear your collective gasps over that one). I further stated that we would no longer purchase any Activision title unless it was made in Canada, and that they’d better not be planning on putting the brakes on Prototype 2.

Understand that I personally know people who work at United Front, along with pretty well all of the local game studios including Radical, which experienced downsizing last year. They are “in real life” friends, and I am concerned for them and those who work at other studios, as one would be about friends in any other situation. The reply on that rant by one of the two developers considered my opinion laughable and called into question my support of local industry. I will not go into details, and I do thank other friends in the industry who have replied with positive messages in my defense.

That said, and as I stated above, I am remiss in not giving Krabbitworld: Origins a review, and I am willing to own that. I have two other game reviews also outstanding – one just because I haven’t completed the story, the other because I’m conducting experiments with it (which I have discussed with one of the creators, and he’s good with that). That said – all of these titles have been given promo in earlier posts, so it’s not like I am completely ignoring them, I just haven’t given them as much blog time as I should have.

I know it’s not easy to run a small company or to develop an original IP, let alone grow it; I have lots of experience in that department – however I also try to constantly research and learn, as well as connect with people who may be able to offer some form of advice. I also am able to take other people’s opinions and look at them from both sides and try to maintain an open mind on many issues, whether I agree with them or not. I imagine that there will be backlash to do with this whole issue, but I don’t care for drama, so won’t be going there. As an aside, here is one other review of the game which I found via Google, so you as a reader can easily find another opinion on Krabbitworld Origins.

As many of you already know, The Cavechild is a hardcore gamer – he will take on pretty well any type of game at least once, and has been successful on the competitive level at tournaments, to which James, one of our other reviewers, can attest. He is well-versed in the RPG, FPS and RTS genres and openly very opinionated (and stubborn), so without further preamble and heavy editing, here are the Cavechild’s honest thoughts on being tossed into Krabbitworld: Origins with no background on the game, its lore or much else other than it was an RPG-styled title. I did not tell him why the characters have big ears (as you’ll see), or what type of world the game was set in. I sent him the extra key and the download link and told him to play. He played it for about 30 minutes, which probably isn’t long enough for some circles, but if a game fails to engage quickly, chances are it will not easily make it in the open market.

On Playing Krabbitworld: Origins –

Well, let’s get this review on the way. First thought of playing Krabbit online was “Why the hell does everyone have giant ears?” and I thought this looked like a really bad rip-off of World of Warcraft, though I was wrong. This is worse than WoW, far worse. World of Warcraft looks better than Krabbit, plays better too and also lags less.
KrabbitWorld Ogre
The customization of this game is the worst I’ve ever had to deal with. The colours are messed up and when you choose your character’s colours, they lag like hell while applying the scheme you chose. I made my giant-eared ogre a crimson reddish-looking colour and gave him a dark green vest and ice blue shoes. Now keep in mind I didn’t think I’d be getting a neon coloured ogre on an acid trip from hell, though.. guess what happened? I GOT A RAVE OGRE! BRIGHT COLOURS! Minus the techno music. The graphics however don’t mean much to me, if there is a good community and high player base to do co-op or fight against, then by all means I will play regardless, others should as well. Another thing that bugged me a little bit is that some of the animations are not complete, such as rolling, doing a side flip and such, it was quiet annoying but at the same time, laughable. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th February 2011

Di-O-Matic Reveals Voice-O-Matic Update

diomaticMontreal-based Di-O-Matic has revealed details about Voice-O-Matic v1.61 for Maya. Created to meet the needs of 3D character animators all over the world who require an easy-to-use, lip synchronization plug-in for their Autodesk Maya software, Voice-O-Matic is used by top 3D animation studios to achieve highly accurate voice-to-character matching. Voice-O-Matic v1.61 for Maya is available now for US $349.

Di-O-Matic heard your call animators. Spending hours to create lip sync animations for CG characters is tiring, and manually generating every lip movement is a long and tedious task. That’s why Voice-O-Matic was designed! Combining a user friendly interface with a highly efficient and time saving system. Some of the most admired CG characters including Batman, Spider-man and Superman carry Voice-O-Matic at the heart of their facial animations.voice-o-matic

Designed for animators by animators, Voice-O-Matic v1.61 for Maya only requires an audio file to automatically produce an accurate lip sync animation. Afterwards, the results can be easily tweaked to perfectly match any style of animation. Voice-O-Matic v1.61 for Maya works with any type of character setup and with every language. Voice-O-Matic has also already earned its stripes with its use in leading feature films, popular television shows, commercials and award winning video games.

Oscar Marquez, coordinator of the 3D department at Cromosoma reveals “Not only did we manage to increase our productivity with Voice-O-Matic v1.61 for Maya, but it allowed us to focus on other aspects of our animated series. What we liked most about Voice-O-Matic is that it can be set up easily, the lip sync of several characters can be done at the same time and we barely need to modify the animation curves. If you make a good setup and integrate it properly you can have very good results. Thanks to Voice-O-Matic, we could do all the lip sync we needed in the series with just 10 mouth shapes and only one control for the most extreme poses.”

No matter which type of character setup you wish to use: from blend shapes to complex bone-based rigs, and no matter the language for which you wish to create lip synchronization, Voice-O-Matic v1.61 for Maya delivers, and can save up to 80% of the time it takes to manually animate lip synchronization. 3D animation artists can benefit by using both the automatic phoneme matching features and the manual tools to fine-tune the animated character to achieve highly customized results.

LudiaInteractive entertainment company Ludia today announced its ‘The Bachelor: The Videogame’ App is available on the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch for $2.99 USD and iPad for $4.99 USD. Based on the hit franchise created by Mike Fleiss, hosted by Chris Harrison and airing Mondays 8:00–10:00 ET/PT on ABC, the app features characters inspired by the actual Bachelors and Bachelorettes from the top rated series’ “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” including current Bachelor Brad Womack and the most recent Bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky.

Fans of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” can now live their own show experience anywhere, anytime, as they compete in a collection of exciting mini-games and challenges to win the attention and, ultimately, the heart of the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Players vie for the final rose, playing as either a the bachelorfemale or male contestant.

“The Bachelor is one of the most successful dating competitions in the reality genre, and we are pleased to bring the romance and heated competition that are the hallmarks of the TV show to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This release reinforces Ludia’s strategy of delivering highly entertaining games, based on the most popular television brands.”

Features of The Bachelor: The Videogame App include:

* Play to earn the love of the Bachelor or the Bachelorette, guided by Chris Harrison.
* Characters based on favorite Bachelors and Bachelorettes, including Brad Womack, Jake Pavelka, Jason Mesnick and more!
* 23 mini-game challenges to play in one-on-one or group date scenarios.
* 3 levels of difficulty to chose from.
* Humorous “Fantasy Suite” videos where your performance in the game determines the outcome; will you share an embrace in the hot tub or be hung out to dry?

For those looking for employment, Ludia currently has several positions that need to be filled.

S3DGAThe S-3D Gaming Alliance has just released the 2011 edition of the U-Decide Initiative. U-Decide is credited as the only S-3D gaming report shaped by consumer opinion, industry analysis, and hands-on experience. The initiative gives readers a candid outlook of what needs to happen to make stereoscopic 3D gaming successful in the long term.

“DDD is a leading provider of 3D game conversion software for the PC market, and our success is dependent on delivering what gamers want. The U-Decide report provides this helpful insight and more, and we recommend it to anyone that also markets to the growing S-3D gaming community,” said Chris Yewdall, CEO of Dynamic Digital Depth. Read the rest of this entry »

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posted in Animation, Business News, Casual, Digital Products, Everyone 10+, Game Dev, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Research Studies, Social Media, Software By: | Print This Post Print This Post

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